Thursday, March 24, 2011

Garden projects.

We are really getting into spring/gardening mode and have been having fun with some different garden crafts and projects.

Now that our hens laying again, we have no shortage of egg shells. Each time we use an egg, i wash out the shells and put them aside instead of adding them to the compost. These make great starter cups to start your seeds in, they are biodegradable and add calcium to the soil.

These are an easy, waste-free alternative to buying seed starter trays. Just add a bit of organic potting mix to each egg cup, plant your seed and add a bit of water. Sage helped with the watering by using a plastic syringe to deliver just a few drops of water to each seed. You could also use an eye dropper, you just want to make sure not to over water them to prevent the seedlings from damping off/ molding.

Give them a bit of water each day if the soil looks dry and in just a few days your seeds will begin to sprout. Once the plants are big enough to be transferred you plant the entire egg cup in the ground.

We also made seed tapes. These are great for planting things like carrots, and lettuce and anything else with tiny little seeds. i've never been good at spacing or planting my rows straight...and these make it easy. It also eliminates the need to thin your seedings.

To make seed tapes all you need is some newspaper, cut into long stripes.
A bit of flour mixed with water to create a thin paste.
small paintbrush.
Seeds of choice.

Using the paint brush put a dot of flour/paste on the newspaper strip and place a seed in it. Do this every 1-2" inches or how ever far apart your seeds need to be placed. according to the package. After ours dried, i put another dot of flour/paste over each seed to make sure it was secure. Once it is completely dried you can roll them up until you are ready to plant them.

This is a really good tutorial for making seed tapes. Ours did not come out nearly as pretty. :)

We really love the garden and nature craft section on the Family fun website, and find tons of cool projects there. When we came across the project for a Hanging Garden Seed Starter i had to try it. i use a book of trading cards sleeves to organize my seed stash, so i had some extras we could use for this project. i thought this would be a great project for the kids to seed the seeds develop roots and begin sprouting.

First thing we did was add a couple spoonfuls of organic potting mix to each pocket. Then we picked out our seeds and made sticker labels for each pocket to identify our seeds. We placed a seed in each pocket and added a few drops of water, using the syringe like we did above. We had to use a tape to keep our pocket sleeve from curling in on itself.

When the seeds begin to sprout the root system and plant is visible through the clear pocket. It was interesting to see which seeds sprouted first, and which we are still waiting on. We had two seeds rot, so we removed them and added new soil and seeds. Once the plants get bigger we will have to move them into their own pots, but it is really a fun way to observe them.

i have a few new artist features and giveaways in the works! So watch for those.


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